STATE OF NEW YORK
Legislative Office Building
Albany, New York 12248
November 27, 2001
Honorable George E. Pataki
Governor of New York
Albany, NY 12224-0341
Dear Governor Pataki:
The future prosperity of New York City and State demands that
all of the state's leaders work together. At this critical moment,
we cannot afford to allow differences to interfere with the
monumental task of rebuilding our economy in the wake of September
In my own effort to put politics aside and work together, I
reached out to you in early October to discuss the Assembly's
vision for rebuilding New York City. You subsequently, with no
input from the Assembly, released your own $54 billion federal
New York City leaders, state legislators and members of the
Congressional delegation of both parties were surprised by your
unilateral request for aid. The request - which included numerous
items outside the disaster area - set back our efforts to secure
federal aid. Had New York's leaders presented a united front from
the start, we would be in a much better position to maximize the
federal help New York desperately needs.
I tried again to get a firm commitment from you during our
negotiations of the Liberty and Resurgence Zone legislation.
However, you refused to detail the state's commitment to the
revitalization effort until the federal response was clear.
Since the amount of federal aid remains in doubt weeks later,
we continue to lack a clear strategy for rebuilding the city.
Your policies have left the people and businesses of New York City
confused. They are desperately trying to get on with the task of
rebuilding their lives and businesses. They need answers now. The
longer they wait for a firm commitment from the state and federal
government, the more New York City stands to lose. Without a coherent
reconstruction plan, many of the people and businesses that make Manhattan
the financial center of the world will undoubtedly leave the city. In fact,
some are already in the process of leaving.
The Assembly has shared its vision of how we should move forward by
introducing a sweeping disaster relief package to assist victims and rebuild
lower Manhattan. The state's Congressional delegation has been aggressively
seeking federal relief. Now is the time for you to rejoin the effort and
work with the state's Congressional delegation; labor, business and
community leaders; Senator Bruno; and myself to push the House leadership on
attaining the necessary funds to rebuild New York. Now is the time for you
to put forth your specific plan to rebuild lower Manhattan.
We must not repeat some of the past missteps. It is time to work together
for the good of all New Yorkers. We need your voice to join the chorus of
others as we press the Congress and President to meet our needs.